Information has always been the name of the game for appliance repair techs. Our jobs are all about locating and making extrapolations upon information such as specifications and measurements. If we can't access at least a baseline level of information for a particular job (at the very least the schematic), then it's almost impossible for us to do our job.
The meteoric rise of mobile technology and the Internet over the past few decades has hugely expanded how much information we can access and how easily we can do so. Everyone owns at least a smartphone these days, if not a tablet, smart watch, etc. However, many techs aren't making full use of these technologies, putting themselves at a serious disadvantage. Properly leveraging mobile devices to help your business provides a serious increase in productivity, since you have to waste far less time locating and keeping track of information.
Here's a list of just some of the ways that you could be using your mobile device on the job:
- Downloading schematics and manuals for reference at the service call. This is a huge one -- if you're not prediagnosing each call by reviewing the tech lit beforehand, you're behind the times. Long gone are the days of driving out to the call and hoping you'll find the tech sheet. With a resource such as Appliantology, you have tech docs from every major manufacturer available to download on demand as a tech member. There's no excuse not to have studied the schematic and established a troubleshooting strategy before each call. And since you have the tech lit downloaded to your device, you have it right there on hand to reference as your diagnostics progress.
- Taking photos and videos. There are a lot of different uses for these features on your smartphone. You can take a picture before you remove all those wire harnesses to make sure you get them back in the right spots. You can document symptoms and failures for customers who are absent, or even CYA by showing how that scratch on the floor was there before you moved out the range.
- Parts research. No need to wait until you're home to see if a part is NLA -- you can find that out right on the job and advise the customer accordingly.
- Flat-rate pricing guides. Online pricing guides like the online Blue Book are fantastic tools. Right there in the customer's home on the first trip, you can tell them exactly how much the repair will cost, all after just a couple minutes of tapping on the phone. You can adjust the quote on the fly with online tools like this, taking into account all the specifics of the situation.
- Recovering model numbers for units with damaged tags. See this post for how to pull this neat trick off.
- Easily calculating Ohm's law and other essential tech equations, all with no mental math required.
- Invoicing. With something like a Square reader for an iPhone, you can take credit cards as payment and send receipts in just a few minutes. Nobody likes writing checks these days, so this one will make you especially popular with customers.
- Navigation. No need to rely entirely on customer directions -- odds are, Google Maps already knows exactly where they live (a little creepy, right?).
And finally, your mobile device allows you access to the awesome information tool that is Appliantology. Get tech help in the forums, service manual downloads from the Files section, even watch 40+ hours of instructional webinars anywhere, anytime. Not a tech member already? Click here to get access to the full power of Appliantology today.
How have mobile devices improved the state of your business? Let everyone know in the comments below!